Publisher: Mira Books
Heart of Courage is the third book in the “Heart” trilogy by Kat Martin. Although this series has been very favorably reviewed, I continue to struggle to find all the redeeming qualities the reviewers speak of!
Heart of Courage continues the story of the Draugr brothers. The brother that is the hero in this story is Thor and he seems to be the least civilized of the two. He is a hard worker, holding down several jobs and investing his money in well-researched investments. But he seems to also have the “me Tarzan, you Jane” mentality that his brother has and the physical size to carry it off.
Lindsey Graham is a society reporter (pseudonym of “Lady Smart”) who’s wastrel brother, Rudy, has been accused of murdering prostitutes. Lindsey seems determined to carry out a dangerous investigation and clear her brother’s name. Thor is sent by Krista (Lindsey’s employer) to protect Lindsey as she carries out her investigation. Although Thor and Lindsey seem to butt heads at every turn, their mutual attraction continues to grow. It seems that as she and Thor go from bawdy house to pubs looking for clues that the police could never hope to find, their physical attraction grows.
This book had too many out of place story lines for me. I found it lacking in believability in many spots. If a book is going to be set in the aristocracy of Regency England, the character’s behavior needs to be more suited for that era than more modern times. The daughter of a viscount wouldn’t be holding down a job, and certainly wouldn’t be conducting an investigation of her own into her brother’s supposed crimes. Her father’s title would carry more weight with the police then her questions. This particular book never seemed to get off the ground for me. Lindsey was inconsistent and self-absorbed. She made too many excuses for her brother’s behavior and seemed to be unwilling to put any faith in the investigative skills of the police (possibly justified). I found it sad that she repeatedly put her family before Thor. Thor was stubborn and frequently overbearing. Although I’ve enjoyed many of Kat Martin’s novels, this trilogy will not be a set of books I will keep!
That being said, this book as well as this series received one positive review after another. The following is an example from Romance Reader at Heart. “A knockout! From the first page it pulls the reader in….the plot is so rich with twists and turns that I couldn’t put it down…[Martin] is one talented writer and Heart of Courage is one for the keeper shelf!” RT Book Reviews also liked this book and gave it 4 stars. They said: “This book, the last of Martin’s Heart series, is fun, intriguing and full of enough twists to keep you glued to your chair. Sparks fly and hearts are conquered in this sensual conclusion to a great trilogy.”
It’s so hard for me to read historical romances now. I read them when I was younger, but it seems the more I read, the more critical I get with the author’s facts and how the fit the book.
Sometimes I agree with you; some authors are better at their historical facts than others….but the Cinderellaish element appeals to the little girl in me!